LA County Takes Aim at Cannabis Ads Targeting Kids

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted to explore how it might limit cannabis advertising appealing to underage youth.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger said in her motion that marketers were distributing door hangers promoting cannabis-based edibles to family residences in Santa Clarita and other communities. She recommended a county ordinance consistent with state law that requires advertisers using direct marketing to verify that consumers receiving the information are 21 years or older.

Barger noted that measures legalizing the adult use of cannabis and establishing a regulatory framework also promised safeguards against access for children. For example, cannabis businesses are barred from operating within 600 feet of schools and radio, television, print and digital ads may only be displayed where at least 71.6 percent of the audience is expected to be at least 21 years old.

State law also already bars any advertising intended to encourage marijuana use by minors.

Enforcement may be another matter.

“A lot of this advertising is definitely targeted towards youth,” said Catalina Gonzalez of the nonprofit Day One, which focuses on public health education and policy. Gonzalez told the board about bubble-gum pink ads she said were clearly designed to appeal to LGBTQ youth.

The board directed its lawyers to report back in two weeks with a legal analysis of state law and recommendations for limiting ads to anyone under the age of 21.